NATION

Ministry, Resorts To Boost Giant Clam Revival

  The Ministry of Fisheries has increased its efforts to revive the giant clam industry with the involvement of resorts. The ministry is responsible for the breeding and spawning of
09 Aug 2018 10:00
Ministry, Resorts To Boost Giant Clam Revival
Waisake Kanavakalou (left), of the Ministry of Fisheries displaying the giant clam slabs where the giant clams are being spawned and harvested at Makogai. Photo : Sheenam Chandra

 

The Ministry of Fisheries has increased its efforts to revive the giant clam industry with the involvement of resorts.

The ministry is responsible for the breeding and spawning of these clams.

Thereafter, and once the clams are of decent sizes, they are given to resorts to raise awareness and add value to its eco-tourism programme.

The clams are grown in an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater.

This specialised type of aquaculture is known as mariculture.

Since 2014, the Ministry of Fisheries has developed a mariculture site at Makogai, a marine protected area (MPA), catering for the spawning and breeding programme for giant clams.

During a visit to Makogai on Tuesday, the Principal research officer at the Ministry of Fisheries Saras Sharma said: “Giant clams add value to the scenery which the diver expects to see.

“It also plays a crucial part in the marine ecosystem because it is a filter feeder and keeps the water clean.”

The mantle (outer wall of any type of molluscs) comes in different colours and this also adds value to scuba diving or snorkelling trips.

There are nine species of giant clams here but the fisheries team is concentrated on Tridacna gigas (also known as giant clam), Tridacna maxima and Tridacna derasa.

The giant clams, according to the ministry, has been overfished and over-harvested by foreigners because these species are sessile (fixed in one place; immobile) and therefore is easy to catch and harvest.

Tavarua Island Resort and Mana Island Resort are two of the resorts that have partnered with the ministry in the programme.

Miss Sharma said the trained marine biologists in these resorts had to look after the clams which needed to be cleaned and fed and were then given back to the communities around that area.

But the ministry is not stopping here as it also aims to protect devil or tevoro clam, otherwise scientifically known as the Tridacna mbalavuana.

This endemic and endangered species has caught the curiosity of the Fisheries officials and efforts are being made to protect these species known only to be found in Fiji and parts of Tonga.

Giant clams are protected under laws acts in Fiji:

nConvention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES)

nEndangered and Protected Schedule (EPS).

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: